‘Clown’ Rep.-elect George Santos unfit for Congress, NY protesters say

Steven Vago and Jesse O'Neill

December 29, 2022

Originally published in New York Post on December 29, 2022.

Dozens of Long Islanders disgusted with Rep.-elect George Santos’ web of personal and professional deception rallied Thursday and demanded that the Republican not take part in the new Congress next week.

“Don’t seat Santos! Don’t seat Santos!” a crowd of about 100 demonstrators chanted outside the Nassau County Courthouse in Mineola.

Protestors held signs reading “Say no to Santos,” “The Liar Santos Must Resign,” “Make NY3 Santos Free,” “George Santos liar liar you are fired,” and “You should repent not represent.” 

The protest was organized by Democratic state Sen. Anna Kaplan and Assemblyman Chuck Lavine, who said they were especially disgusted with Santos’ false campaign trail claims that his grandparents fled the Nazis, that his mother was Jewish and that Santos himself was a “proud American Jew.”

“We have heard from people who lost family, who had family members who survived the Holocaust. In my family … very few Jews who were European came to the United States. Not one of our relatives survived, so this is deadly serious to us,” Lavine told The Post following the demonstration.

“What has brought all of us out here today is utter disgust at the fact that the person who is going to be representing us is a complete fraudster,” added Lavine, who leads the New York Chapter of the National Association of Jewish Legislators.

“This would be hysterically funny but it’s not funny. It’s tragic. It’s utterly tragic that anyone could pull the wool over the eyes of so many people and be allowed to do that. So we stand here today on the question of accountability. He was elected as a result of fraud. We don’t want to be in represented by a clown.”

Santos, 34, admitted to The Post earlier this week he lied about graduating from Baruch College in 2010. He also copped to fibbing about working for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup and owning 13 properties. In fact, the disgraced pol-to-be said, he owns no real estate, is living at his sister’s home, and once stiffed a landlord for $12,000.

Santos also lied about attending the prestigious Horace Mann prep school in the Bronx and seems to have falsely claimed that his mother’s death was caused by the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The Republican has resolved to serve his full two-year House term which begins Jan. 3, despite being condemned by fellow GOPers for his staggering deceit, which has drawn the attention of the feds and the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office.

Protester Jennifer Debler, 53, of Garden City, said she was a mother of three kids, one of whom attends the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point — which Santos toured Thursday.

“Santos will be representing that esteemed institution,” Debler said. “They have a very strict honor code and it pains me that someone who has brought such dishonor to our district will be representing those fine young men and women.”

Great Neck resident Sally Marzouk held a sign that read “Follow the money. Over $700k in 2022??” 

“I’m infuriated,” the 63-year-old insurance worker told The Post. “I’m completely disgusted with what he’s lied about. 

“Truth be told, lying is not illegal and we’ve had a lot of that with the Republicans, but the thing that’s going to get him, hopefully, is to follow the money. That’s always what brings people down.”

Like Kaplan and Lavine, Marzouk said she was also appalled by Santos’ claims that he had Jewish ancestry.

“A lot of what he said is disgraceful. I’m Jewish. It’s disgraceful what he said,” she told The Post. “As a Jew, it’s just appalling to put the death of six million people to the side for political gain. It’s just very disturbing as a Jew.

“Look, Republican or Democrat, people should be appalled. They should want a new person there. He’s going to be put on s—-y committees. He’s not going to get anything done in Washington … our district is going to get nothing.”

Robert Zimmerman, the Democrat who unsuccessfully challenged Santos for the Third District seat in November, raged against Santos’ attenpted clarification to The Post in which he described himself as “Jew-ish.”

“When I see him try to manipulate and exploit our faith, try to manipulate our religion for a cheap political stunts — to try to use the Holocaust as a political gimmick — it’s the ultimate form of anti-semitism. It is morally reprehensible,” Zimmerman said.

“He’s certainly not fit to be seated in Congress, that’s for sure. We have to make sure the investigations continue. We have to make sure the political pressures on members of Congress to hold George Santos accountable.”

Unless he resigns, Santos is set to be sworn in on Jan. 3 to replace Rep. Tom Suozzi, a Democrat who did not seek re-election because he was running for governor.